Rainforests of Panama
January 20, 2004
Tropical rainforests are warm, 24-27°C (75-80°F) year round, because they are located near the equator. Rainforests live up to their name—they receive at least 2,000 mm (80 inches) of rain every year. While they cover less than seven percent of the Earth’s surface, rainforests contain about half of the plant and animal species on the planet. The rainforests of Panama, in particular, are some of the world’s most biologically diverse areas. Panama’s rainforests are home to many mammals that migrated from both North and South America. Among these species are jaguars, tapirs, deer, sloths, anteaters, and armadillos. There are also 650 species of birds and 93 amphibian species in the Panama Canal watershed. The false-color Landsat image above is a map of the of the greenness of the plant canopy across the greater Panama Canal watershed. In the scene, the darker green the area, the more green vegetation is present.